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Macromolecules Applied to Pharmaceutical Chemistry
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Scleroglucan: A Versatile Polysaccharide for Modified Drug Delivery

Department of Chemistry and Technology of Biologically Active Compounds, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, P.le Aldo Moro, 00185 Rome, Italy
Department of Sciences and Chemical Technologies, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via de la Ricerca Scientifica, 00133 Rome, Italy
Department of Chemical Engineering, Environment and Raw Materials, University of Trieste, P.le Europa 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2005, 10(1), 6-33;
Received: 14 May 2004 / Accepted: 8 July 2004 / Published: 31 January 2005
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macromolecules Applied to Pharmaceutical Chemistry)
Scleroglucan is a natural polysaccharide, produced by fungi of the genus Sclerotium, that has been extensively studied for various commercial applications (secondary oil recovery, ceramic glazes, food, paints, etc.) and also shows several interesting pharmacological properties. This review focuses its attention on the use of scleroglucan, and some derivatives, in the field of pharmaceutics and in particular for the formulation of modified-release dosage forms. The reported investigations refer mainly to the following topics: natural scleroglucan suitable for the preparation of sustained release tablets and ocular formulations; oxidized and crosslinked scleroglucan used as a matrix for dosage forms sensitive to environmental conditions; co-crosslinked scleroglucan/gellan whose delivery rate can be affected by calcium ions. Furthermore, a novel hydrogel obtained with this polysaccharide and borate ions is described, and the particular structure of this hydrogel network has been interpreted in terms of conformational analysis and molecular dynamics. Profound attention is devoted to the mechanisms involved in drug release from the tested dosage forms that depend, according to the specific preparation, on swelling and/or diffusion. Experimental data are also discussed on the basis of a mathematical approach that allows a better understanding of the behavior of the tested polymeric materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: Scleroglucan; Modified release; Hydrogel. Scleroglucan; Modified release; Hydrogel.
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Coviello, T.; Palleschi, A.; Grassi, M.; Matricardi, P.; Bocchinfuso, G.; Alhaique, F. Scleroglucan: A Versatile Polysaccharide for Modified Drug Delivery. Molecules 2005, 10, 6-33.

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